There’s no doubt about it: working out regularly and eating healthy can be tough, especially when you have low willpower and you’re doing it alone. When you first start exercising the gym can seem very daunting and many opt for working out at home maybe with resistance bands, weights or just their own body weight and it can feel great, until you lose motivation and you’re rescheduling your workouts. So how do you stay motivated?
First, let me tell you about why I started my own fitness journey. It was a few months ago when I had tonsillitis for the second time in just a couple months. I was also getting a cold on and off in between. I was so annoyed that I kept getting ill, my workouts were all over the place and I didn’t feel good. I wanted to look like the girls you see all over Instagram, not with this face hunny, but I knew that if I just started again, eat healthy and workout the right way, I could get just as strong. I wanted to stop getting ill, I wanted to get strong, enough to handle my own body weight and I just wanted to prove to myself that I am capable. Currently on my 7th week of healthy eating, yes I still eat shitty food time to time, I workout with weights four times a week, cardio once or twice a week and then go for a long walk once a week. Some days it is a slow start and I don’t want to do it – which turn out to be the best days because I’ve literally motivated myself to prove to myself that I can do it. The best competition to have is actually with yourself. So, how else do I keep motivated?
The biggest thing you could do for your future self is prep. When it comes to exercising, I lay out my workout clothes and sometimes my outfit for the day. This way, they guilt trip me if I’m procrastinating – a great tip is to change into them as soon as you wake up, or get home as that’s the biggest step in my book – and you don’t have to waste time trying to find them. For what workout you’re going to do, I like to plan this out. I have two different workout plans that I alternate each week, this way you’ve already built yourself up for exercising. What I like to do is put each exercise into my iPad so I know what they look like and I feel a sense of achievement when I delete each one from my browser as I go along. The next prep is of course food. For the evenings I have enough time I will make my lunch for the next day. This way, I know it’s going to be healthy and it’s unlikely I will buy and eat anything bad.
Inspiration = Motivation
Are there visuals or those in which I inspire to? Of course there is! I keep myself surrounded with images of bodies I aspire to, I follow those on Instagram that have the strength and willpower to motivate others and I inspire and motivate myself. Just a few influencers I follow is Kayla Itsines, my ideal strength. I love how honest she is, how strong she is and how she shares everyone else’s journey whether they’ve just started or have been using her SWEAT app for a few weeks. I also follow Sam Ozkural, my ideal motivation. If you need motivation then she is the best! I always come away from her YouTube videos with something and she gives me healthy lunch ideas too.
Then of course I have Kelsey Wells, my ideal look. So starting my fitness journey, although my main goal was to become a lot stronger, I still wanted to look more lean and defined. Kelsey proves that you can start your fitness journey whenever you want and there’s no perfect time or age in order to get to where you want to be. Of course all of these incredible women give me the strength, the motivation and desire to look like them and of course there are thousands of men and women out there that can do the same (comment below your favourite) and I just love how each and every one is supportive.
Sometimes you just need a little more help to keep you motivated. Before I started my journey I always knew what foods were healthy and which ones were just full of sugar but I never knew how to use these to create meals – and sometimes I still don’t. My go-to app is MyFitnessPal. As well as using this app to input your food, it also gives you recipe ideas. I love using this app as a sort of reminder to myself that I am trying my hardest to eat healthy and how it breaks everything down. Carbs, fat, sugar and vitamins are just a few nutritional values it shows. A great tip – when I’m making breakfast, not only do I input this into the app but I will also input my lunch. Sometimes I’ll add my dinner and sometimes I won’t. I’m not that strict with the way I eat and I’m not exactly on a diet either so having a bit of freedom is essential but if you are dieting, this app is great! I put through my lunch to see what my nutritional values are like and if I’m way over one of them, usually sugar, then I can reassess my choices or I know not to eat more sugar.
Family, friends, etc
One of the great ways I tend stay motivated is by the people around me. My family, friends and work colleagues all know I’m trying my best to be my best self and I like how it motivates them too. Every time I get a compliment or a comment about how well I’m doing or how healthy my food looks it’s like a little achievement and it keeps me going. Try and surround yourself with positive and like minded people because again it keeps you going and you see yourself become strong enough to motivate yourself.
If I’ve eaten junk all day or if I’ve skipped a workout this actually motivates me to do better the next day. We’re all allowed to have a break here and there and we shouldn’t be calling it failure. Our bodies will tell us when it’s time to rest, even on the days you really want to workout. If I wake up too tired or I’ve not had enough sleep – I don’t like working out if I’ve had less than six and a half hours because I don’t want to get an injury or tire my body even more – I always opt for a walk. My body is still moving and I haven’t put a strain on myself, all to avoid injury and getting ill again. So the next time you’re too tired or just simply want a day off then have a day off. Go for a walk instead or do something light.